Do you want a better night’s sleep – here are some great tips to achieve it.

  • Determine How Much Sleep Is Enough for You

The average adult should get at least 7 hours of sleep to wake up feeling rested. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults will need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every day. Some factors and situations will, of course, affect how much sleep one can get in a day.  Pregnancy, age, and other health conditions are some of the factors that can affect your sleep and sleep quality.  How can I determine the right amount of sleep?  These questions should help.

  • Do you need an alarm to wake up?

Some people do not need an alarm to wake up early in the morning. If you tend to wake up early naturally, and not because you have a sleep disorder or had a few drinks, this could be the brain signaling your body that you have rested well. If you, however, struggle to get out of bed (even after the alarm has gone off), chances are you did not sleep well, need more sleep, or should adjust your sleep schedule.

  • How do you feel?

Keeping a sleep diary can help you identify/notice patterns with your sleep routine. You could also download a sleep app to help you monitor the same. You can then use the data collected to determine the best sleep routine for your health.  Listen to your inner self to see if you feel fatigued or anxious during the day. Some of these are clear indicators and signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep.

  • Do you take long to doze off?

It takes the average person about 20 minutes to drift off to sleep.  Some will drift off a few moments after putting their heads on the soft pillow. If you however struggle to fall asleep and only toss and turn for more than 30 minutes or even hours before dozing off, external factors, such as your lifestyle, could be to blame.

  • Don’t Take Caffeine or Alcohol Before Going to Bed

While alcohol may cause you to drift to sleep quickly, you’ll be forced to wake up in the middle of the night (repeatedly) to rush to the bathroom. Alcohol is also known to reduce REM when we sleep; another reason you shouldn’t drink a few hours to bedtime.

Caffeine is in itself, a stimulant and also known to disrupt REM while we sleep. Taking your regular cup of coffee before time causes lightheadedness, hence making it hard to fall into a deep sleep. That said, it would be advisable to limit your caffeine intake 6 hours to bedtime.

Even the slightest disruptions while asleep (REM) can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. Such disruptions could make it hard for one to concentrate at work during the day.  Limiting your alcohol and caffeine intake can, however, help prevent this from happening.

  • Don’t Use or Charge Your Phone While in Bed

Avoid the temptation to charge your phone from the bed nor use it. Many are times when you’ll find yourself scrolling through social media for hours when you should be sleeping. Smartphones also produce blue light, which tends to disrupt the usual circadian circle. It is also known to inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep. The blue light produced by these electronic devices mimic daylight, hence can mess with your internal clock.

  • Avoid Long Daytime Naps

While power naps help rejuvenate the soul, mind, and muscles, napping for too long can affect how well you sleep at night. According to research, long naps mess with the internal clock making it difficult to find sleep at night. Sleep experts recommend not more than 90-minute naps during the daytime.  If napping for a few minutes still messes up with your internal clock, try not napping at all. Look for something else to do instead of napping to be able to sleep well when you need to.

  • Invest in A Comfortable Mattress and Pillow

A good mattress and pillow will make it easy to sleep well, while an uncomfortable one will only make it worse. Shopping for, and investing in a comfortable and supportive mattress should reduce lower back pains, and well as prevent back stiffness, shoulder pains, and improved sleep quality. Check out this Walmart mattress for instance – it’s got great reviews. While mattresses can last for decades, sleep experts recommend changing your pillows once every year. If both the mattress and pillows are too old, or unsupportive, you can then start saving or planning for a new one. Just be sure to pick the best and most comfortable mattress you can afford.